BoxyCharm December 2014 Review

BoxyCharm is a full-size and occasionally deluxe-sample sized makeup and beauty subscription box… oh, and one of my favorites right now! For only $21 per month, they send you 4-6 quality makeup, skincare, haircare and beauty products with brands ranging from … Continue reading

The First Review: Ipsy May 2013

To start, I have to say, the whole concept of having these beauty boxes (and fitness, health, food, etc boxes) are an amazing idea! Sure, there is the fear of “I don’t know what’s going to be in it, so how will I know if I like it!?” Trust me, I had the same thoughts running through my head, and so I checked out different companies and their websites and feedback before ordering anything. Plus, even though you don’t know what’s included, you usually get double the value of the money you spend per box. I decided to sign up to pay monthly, just in case I wanted to cancel at any point. Most of these companies offer slightly reduced rates if you sign up for 3-months, 6-months or 12-months at a time, but just make sure you love the contents before doing so!

So after about 6 months of receiving Ipsy and having only amazing things to say, here is my first review:


The May 2013 Ipsy GlamBag was one of my favorite custom-bags that I’ve received so far! While I also enjoyed the Nautical-themed one from the month prior, and a silver bag a few months before, the other bags I had recieved were very simple: black, brown, etc. This printed zig-zag teal, white, blue and orange combination bag was definitely the best, and not only that, the items included were a hit:


Zoya Nail Polish in “Neely”: Full Size

$8 for 15 ml/.5 fl. oz

IMG_3653This light minty-green polish seems perfect for this Spring-themed bag! Although my first preference would be the white or pink shade rather than this minty green, I think I will definitely end up using it. I just recently tested it out on my own nails and it seems to go on smoothly, similar to an Essie/OPI quality polish which is actually shocking, however my nails never look as good when I do them myself versus getting them done at a salon, so of course a few of mine smudged. I think it would look better if I had a tan as well, since it’s such a light color. It would be a great one to use as a base and then put designs on (just wait for my future post on nail polish colors and designs!) In terms of the brand, most of the other Ipsy girls I’ve seen posting on the website threads seem to enjoy it and recommend it to their friends.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars,  as it’s not my absolute favorite color but is definitely a good polish and worth getting.

St. Tropez One Night Only Instant Tanning Lotion

Sample Size 50 ml/1.69 ozIMG_3621_2

Full Size: $18 for 5 oz, so sample is worth approx. $5.50

Many people recieved a bronzing or luminating lotion from Pacifica, however I recieved a sample size of St Tropez instead (I’d say enough for 1 full body application, or a few partial applications). I have yet to apply this to my entire body (or at least chest/arms/face if I’m going out and wearing pants!) but based on testing some out on my skin, I think it has potential. It is a well-known, and often expensive brand, so I was quite giddy when I received it in my package. The only downside, is that I already previously received this sample through Sephora, and hadn’t had a chance to use it (so now I have 2!).  ALSO: You must must must wear gloves or a bronzing mitt! I tested it out on my skin and had to scrub my fingers after only having the lotion on them for a few minutes.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars, because it is a one-night-only bronzer, and I would prefer one that either lasted or was a gradual-build up bronzer and didn’t fear of it staining any light clothing (or my hands!)

Juice Beauty Reflecting Lip Gloss in Champagne

Full Size: $15 for 4 ml/.14 fl ozIMG_3658

*I thought this was a full-size product, but on the JuiceBeauty website it says $15 for .28 oz, and that is the only size option. Therefore, this would be worth $7.50

Love the brand, bottle and everything, but it is just not my color! I feel kinda silly putting this gold-glittery champagne color on my lips, when all of my outfits go with pinks and reds; It smells delicious and goes on smoothly, without being too sticky, but the bottom line is that it basically just doesn’t do anything for me as I’m not a big fan of lip gloss. I almost wish it was a sample-size, however I may use the Ipsy Swap and see if someone would like to exchange colors with me.

Rating: 3/5 Stars- It seems like a good brand, and is a great product if you like lip gloss. I would recommend it to someone looking for a simple gloss, but it’s just not my cup of tea.

Yaby Concealor Pod Refill in Buff-$4.85  Buff

*I couldn’t figure out if this was a sample or “full size”, as nothing came with the concealer refill and it was difficult to find details on sizing.

I think this little concealer pod is a great idea, and would have been even better if it was included with the prior months bag, as the bag included a magnetic make-up holder and mirror, and the concealer would have easily popped right into that. Otherwise, I can’t carry it around with me and it will end up at the bottom of my beauty closet! In general, the Ipsy girls did a good job trying to match up my skin color, and although it is a little on the light side, I can probably make it work.

Rating: 3/5 because it requires a case (which you would have to purchase) and it doesn’t have any form of applicator.

Nu-Me Finishing Serum– Sample Size: 10 ml IMG_3656

Full Size: 2 fl. oz/59 ml for $29, , so sample is worth approx. $5

This serum was actually the perfect size despite it being only a sample. I was extremely worried about it being too oily or sticky, however it rubbed in smoothly, without weighing down my hair. I rarely use oils or serums, so I’m sure this will last me a long time, and it’s small enough to bring on vacations when my hair gets overworked from the sun and chlorine.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars, good quality and size, I just don’t often use any serums. I’m giving it a higher grade/benefit of the doubt because I think many other fashionistas will like it!

IMG_3616_2Plus, I got this discount card to be used on any Nu-Me products!

So all in all… when you include the custom make-up bag as well, the May 2013 Ipsy GlamBag gets a 4/5!

This is definitely a subscription to get, and I can’t wait for next months!



*Disclaimer: I signed up for Ipsy on my own, and did not receive any items for free/was not asked to do a review*

*Also, the MICA loose eyeshadow product shown above was from a previous bag, that was sent over separately

Getting Faded…. Ombre Style

I hope everyone is having a good week, whether that means a less-stressful work week, or enjoying your freedom as the semester is over (unfortunately I’m one of those stuck inside an office!), and that you’re preparing for some form of fun-filled weekend. I know you’re probably like “Mackenzie… it’s Wednesday.” But, it’s almost Memorial Day Weekend, which means everyone who has a boss that doesn’t hate them is getting out early Friday so the rest of the week is going to fly by! I’m heading down to Atlantic City, so I’ll hopefully have some good stories and pictures posted next week. Ever since becoming a full-time working “adult”, I now fully appreciate the weekends and try to cram as many fun events in as humanly possible.

So as I rack my brain thinking about what I’ll wear this weekend and hoping the weather gets sunny and hot again, it has me thinking about my outfit choices for the past few days and last week at work. I’ve been wearing a LOT of pastels. So I found it funny enough that it didn’t fade out come the fall, as most trends and fads do, but in fact stuck around here and became even more influential, as pastel and ombre began to combine..

Along with pastels and their long-lasting popularity is the ombre trend. I contemplated ombre-ing my hair toward the end of last Summer, however I thought to myself “watch, I’ll spend $200 to get my hair ombre-ed or dip-dyed, only for everyone else to start dyeing their hair back to normal, or going back to typical highlights.” Instead, more and more of my friends seem to be jumping into the ombre fountain and trying it out to more extreme levels.

On a level from subtle to crazy, check out the images below of the different ombre-dyes that I’ve seen and been loving!

Amanda BolemanOne of my friends, Amanda, creator of blog, Build a Balance, who currently lives in Chicago, has subtly changed her hair, so she has dirty-blonde/ashy blonde roots, and her hair gradually lightens to a natural-looking light blonde. This color graduation is great for anyone who is either nervous to pick an extreme color, or who, like myself, has a full-time office job that might not be so keen on crazy, colorful hair. One perk of this, is that you can always use a semi-dye or hair chalk to throw in some color on the nights and weekends!

Another one of my good friends Alyssa, who is naturally blonde but has taken a liking to red hair decided to ombre her hair from a deep auburn red, all the way to tips of a super-light strawberry blonde. She chose a daring dark red color to begin at her roots, and slowly but intensely turn into this light blonde at the bottom. Her hair looks best when tousled lightly, or curled so you can really see the transition. Unfortunately she decided to de-activate her Facebook and make it difficult to get pictures. Thus, I included in the collage below an image that looks identical to her hair color and style.

Ombre Hair collage*These photos were not taken by me, only collaged together by me*

The final version I’ve seen, which I mentioned a bit earlier in terms of semi-dye or hair chalking, is the color dip-dye. I’ve noticed many take their natural (or base) hair color, and dip and twirl it in color, so that she begins with blonde roots and ends with vibrant teal hair, or for brunettes, they begin with a warm chocolate, and end up with fuchsia streaks and tips. This technique is most definitely not for beginners or the meek, and I recommend you either get it done at a salon, or have a pro bleach (dark hair) the parts you want dyed and apply from the ends up. The most vibrant color should be on the tips, and as you work your way up it should begin to blend into your natural color.

Stay tuned for the next few posts as I review my May Ipsy Bag, my first Julep Maven package and more!